When Can Babies Drink Water? And Why Is It So Dangerous?

Did you know water can be very dangerous for a newborn baby? If you didn’t, now you know. So when can babies drink water? Well, that’s what this article is all about.

According to Healthline, a baby shouldn’t have water until they are at least six months old. But why is that? 

when can babies drink water? and why is it so dangerous?

As Healthline reports, an infant’s body isn’t capable of handling straight water until about seven months after birth. Their tummies are too small and their developing kidneys put them at risk for water intoxication.

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When Can Babies Drink Water?

An infant’s stomach can only hold about 1 to 2 teaspoons, which means the space that is available should be occupied with breastmilk or formula. By giving an infant water, you are filling up their stomachs with a substance that carries no nutrients, thus ”leaving no room for those vitamins, minerals, fat, and calories so crucial for growth and development. This can cause serious problems.”

when can babies drink water? and why is it so dangerous?

Water can be toxic to anyone if drunk in large quantities, Healthline points out. But it’s even more dangerous for an infant to ingest water given the size of their kidneys.

“When the kidneys are given more water than they can handle, the excess water ends up in your bloodstream. This dilutes the fluid in your bloodstream and lowers the concentration of important electrolytes, like sodium. Too much dilution and you’re at risk for hyponatremia, which literally means too little (hypo) salt in the blood (natremia).”


Other ways children under the age of six months could suffer from water intoxication is while learning to swim and often times if a parent dilutes their formula or breast milk with water. Even on the hottest of days, no extra water is necessary.

when can babies drink water? and why is it so dangerous?

However, by the time a baby is six months old, their stomach would have grown large enough to hold little sips of water, along with formula, breast milk, and solid food. As Healthline suggests, limiting your child’s water intake should be done until they are about a year old.

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Formula and breast milk are hydrating enough for them at this age. So when can babies drink water? It can slowly be introduced into their diet after six months old but not before. And remember, even up to a year old, their water intake should be heavily monitored.

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